Nigeria as a killing field

By Yinka Odumakin

COMMENDATIONS  to the chroniclers of violent deaths in Nigeria in SUNDAY VANGUARD of 11 March, 2018; for telling us what the Office of Statistics will not volunteer :In about  10 weeks into the new year, the country has lost 1,351 to violent deaths under an administration that promised to secure Nigeria and manage it

On that Sunday I was in the home of a big Egbon of mine whom I informed about 30 minutes before reaching his  home that I was coming with a pang of hunger. His lovely   wife treated us to a very sumptuous meal that my friend who accompanied me said to her: “Madam,if you could do all this at a short notice,what would happen if we gave you a day’s notice!”. Nigerians should in like manner be worried about what the land would be today if security was not one of the promises upon which this government was elected into office.

A chilling report

The chilling report stated that:  “Last month(February) no fewer than 517 people died violently, across the country. In January, about 676 Nigerians were cut down through herdsmen and farmers clashes(I say herdsmen terror on farmers as clashes suggest two-fighting) sectarian crises, communal clashes, Boko Haram insurgency, cult clashes, kidnapping, and ritual killings, among others. The deaths are 176 more than the 500 recorded in January 2017. The 1,351 deaths recorded since the beginning of 2018 exclude those  who died from illness, childbirth, Lassa fever, etc.”

The geo-political spread of the killings was given  ” The  North-East remains the killing field with 591 deaths. It is followed by  North-Central, 270;  North-West, 193; South-West, 136; and  South-South, 131. At the bottom of the list is  South-East, 30(Igbos were marginalised again!).

The breakdown on state basis showed that ” Borno State, the hotbed of the Book Haram insurgency, recorded the highest number of deaths with a figure of 361. Borno  is followed by Benue, 163; and  Borno’s  north-eastern neighbours,  Taraba  (107) and Adamawa, which witnessed 103 violent deaths; Kaduna, 71; Rivers, 66; Plateau, 54; Zamfara, 45; Lagos, 45. States that also recorded huge deaths include  Ondo, 39; Ogun, 35;  Jigawa, 30;  Kano, 27;  Nasarawa, 22; Delta, 19;  Anambra, 18;  Kebbi, 18;  Akwa  Ibom, 16;  Kogi, 14, and Cross River, 14. The rest are  Oyo, 12;  Bauchi, 11;  Yobe, 9; Edo, 9; Bayelsa, 7;  Kwara, 6;  FCT  Abuja, 6; Niger, 5;  Enugu, 4;  Imo, 4; Ebonyi, 3; Katsina, 2; Ekiti, 2; Abia, 1;  and Osun, 1. There were no reported violent deaths in  Gombe  and Sokoto”.

To bring home the fact that Nigeria has become a huge killing field under the APC regime, let me reproduce conflicts around the world with some lasting decades that did not record the level of casualties we have recorded in Nigeria in 10 weeks :

Deaths in troubled zones

1,300+ – Allied Democratic Forces insurgency (1996–present)

1,295+ – Siachen conflict (1984–present)

1,229+ – Basque conflict (1959–2011)

1,227–5,600 – Kargil War (1999)

1,119+ – Post-coup unrest in Egypt (2013–2014) (2013–2014)[

1,043+ – Burundian unrest (2015–present)

1,000–1,500 – Cabinda conflict (1994–present)

1,000+ – Djiboutian Civil War (1991–1994)

1,000+ – 1991–92 South Ossetia War (1991–1992)[172]

1,000+ – Xinjiang conflict (1960–present)

1,000+ – Chincha Islands War (1864–1866)

907 – Falklands War (1982)

898 – Barbary Wars (1801–1815)

846 – 2011 Egyptian revolution (2011)

820 – Syrian Civil War spillover in Lebanon (2011–2017)

808 – Sino-Russian border conflicts (1652-1689)

803-1303 – Conflict in Najran, Jizan and Asir (2015-present)

789–1,874 – 2001–02 India–Pakistan standoff (2001–2002)

771 – Insurgency in Egypt (2013–present) (2013–present)

740 – Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation (1963–1966)

722 – Kamwina Nsapu rebellion (2016–present)

700–800 – Anglo-Aro War (1901-1902)

659–2,496 – Russia–Georgia war (2008)

643–1,500 – Sudanese conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile (2011–present)[

547 – Cyprus crisis (1955–64) (1955–1964)

542 – East Prigorodny Conflict (1992)

422 – Franco-Thai War (1940–1941)

339 – Turkey–ISIL conflict (2015–present)

327 – RENAMO insurgency (2013–present)

275–569 – Second Afar insurgency (1995–present) Part of the Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict

236 – Batwa-Luba clashes (2013–present)

206–345 – Arab separatism in Khuzestan (1922–present)

200 – 1935 Yazidi revolt (1935)

174–194 – United States occupation of Veracruz (1914)

159 – ISIL insurgency in Tunisia (2015–present)

158 – Dissident Irish Republican campaign (1998–present)

126 – 2016 Kasese clashes (2016)

115 – The Pool War (2016–present)

102-227 – India–Pakistan military confrontation (2016–present) (2016–present)

95 – 2013 Guinea clashes (2013)

84–134 – Lahad Datu standoff (2013)

82 – Quasi-War (1798-1800)

82 – North-West Rebellion (1885)

71 – Paraguayan People’s Army insurgency (2005–present)

63 – Ten-Day War (1991)

46 – Annexation of Dadra and Nagar Haveli (1954)

39-111 – India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2014–2015) (2014-2015)

37 – 2013 India–Pakistan border skirmishes (2013)

36 – DHKP/C insurgency in Turkey (1990–present)

36 – 2016 Niger Delta conflict (2016–Present) [189] – Part of the Conflict in the Niger Delta

12–61 – 2017 Afghanistan–Pakistan border skirmish (2017) – Part of the Afghanistan–Pakistan skirmishes

11–30 – 2008 Kufra conflict (2008)

8 – 2011 India–Pakistan border skirmish (2011).

An unfolding tragedy

The data above should bring  home the reality of the type of tragedy that is unfolding in the land with the leadership unable or unwilling to rise to the challenges of the moment beyond doing Safari to the  Government houses where the states have become theaters of death and making unguarded comments in moments that call for sobriety.

Demonstration of  leadership

Thank God that former President Olusegun Obasanjo during his visit to Benue went to the graveside of the Benue 73 to show what is expected of leadership in times like this.

He also said a few things that should command some rethink on the part of the current drivers of the Nigerian vehicle :“I do hope that there would be an end to this. Governor, please accept my condolence and do not give up trying to work with men and women that have the interest of this state and the interest of Nigeria at heart to find a permanent solution.

“This to me goes beyond what is on the surface. And we need to find out what is at the bottom of it. And that is the responsibilities of leaders and of course, they must leave no stone unturned to find what the root cause of this (is)and put a stop to it.“We must know why it is happening and we must put an end to it, someone must take responsibility to put an end to it. We cannot talk of a free, secure country where we will want development to take place and investors to come to be suffering this type of senselessness.”

As we pray to see the end of these mindless killings we must work hard as a people to ensure this affliction does not rise the second time!

…Can we hang some Ghanaians?

I DON’T like bloodshed. And this is why I have been opposed to the death penalty all my life.I was furious when I read  a bill that says any person found guilty of any form of hate speech that results in the death of another person shall die by hanging upon conviction, reads a new bill by the Senate sponsored by the spokesman of the Upper chamber, Senator Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC, Niger).

But I have since realised that we need this bill after our President was insulted by descendants of shoe shiners (soobata) whom we asked to put their stuff in “Ghana Must Go” bags over 30 years ago as they added no value to our voting process or the capacity to be blamed as foreign herdsmen causing deaths in our land.

The cause of their insolence was the helping hand offered to their country by our President who has killed all corruption with insecticide in Nigeria except the “sacred cows” who have been enjoyed deodorant treatment. The rude boys and girls of Ghana had the temerity to be telling our President whom Nigerians can only speak ill about in confidential whispers to leave their country alone and go and face the monkeys and snakes who feed on Naira in his country.

What hate speech can be greater than that? The Senate must quickly pass the hate speech bill with jurisdiction across West Africa since we now know that the hate speech merchants have moved to those neighbouring countries.The law must have retroactive effect so we can deal with those Ghanaians the way we dealt with those drug boys.

Feedback: Re:IGP Idris and in-rule of law

I HAVE just read page 17 of Vanguard now. Go on beloved Yinka,the true fighters are diminishing,but continue to hold your head high for all of us! Almost 90% of office holders of this rebranded 1984-5 fascist regime are people who should be in gaol for one crime,treason or the other but people don’t seem to care.-Prof  Obasi Igwe.

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